I am still not quite recovered from the 'cultural weekend ' at Schloss Ortenburg, near the French-German border. It was organized by the Rhine Valley Irish Association - http://www.rvia-online.net/Culture.htm . My main reason for going there was to meet my cousin Donal O'Drisceoil, well known Irish historian and recently famous for being the historical adviser to Ken Loach on the film "The Wind that shakes the Barley" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wind_That_Shakes_the_Barley_%28film%29 - which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes!!!!! So my baby cousin had done well for himself. It was great to meet him after all the years and we had great creac (Irish for fun etc.) at the weekend. He presented the film on Sunday morning - not bad after only a few hours sleep as we'd chewed the fat into the night - and there was a discussion. It was fascinating hearing his insights - a true insider's view of the making of a great film under a brilliant director. You can hear Donal in an interview on the DVD. He is certainly a brilliant historian and has written many books.
The other speaker, Dr Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair, was also great creac as well as a brilliant academic and spoke very well and often amusingly on the history of medicine in old Ireland and her work compiling "The Historical Dictionary of Modern Irish" - a wonderful resource for researchers of the Irish language and its history. We had a great meal on the Saturday night where several people sang Irish songs after Cognac. You could see that some were almost professionals or should have been. It was great fun anyhow. A nice pre-Easter treat.